According to the UN health agency, though tuberculosis (TB) cases fell by 9 per cent and deaths by 14 per cent between 2015 and 2019, access to TB services remains a challenge. Comment. Also mention the strategies developed by WHO and by India to fight against TB.
TB is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. It is spread from person to person through the air. When people with TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. TB is a treatable and curable disease. It is treated with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.
Challenges with TB services
- Limited financial resources with people
- insufficient numbers of healthcare professionals at various government and private hospitals
- poor infrastructure at the health care centers
- inequality in the provision of services to the people
- a lack of high-quality drugs and diagnostics
- a lack of community participation in planning services
WHO strategies to fight against TB:
- Providing global leadership to end TB through strategy development, political and multispectral engagement, strengthening review and accountability, advocacy, and partnerships, including with civil society;
- Shaping the TB research and innovation agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of knowledge;
- Setting norms and standards on TB prevention and care and promoting and facilitating their implementation;
- Developing and promoting ethical and evidence-based policy options for TB prevention and care;
- Ensuring the provision of specialized technical support to Member States and partners jointly with WHO regional and country offices, catalyzing change, and building sustainable capacity;
- Monitoring and reporting on the status of the TB epidemic and progress in financing and implementation of the response at global, regional and country levels.
Indian government strategies to fight against TB:
The Government of India announced its plan to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) by 2025
- The Nikshay Ecosystem:It is the National TB information system which is a one-stop solution to manage information of patients and monitor program activity and performance throughout the country.
- NikshayPoshan Yojana (NPY):This scheme is aimed at providing financial support to TB patients for their nutrition.
- TB HaregaDeshJeetega Campaign:Launched In September 2019 it is showcasing the highest level of commitment for the elimination of TB.
- The Saksham Project:It is a project of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) that has been providing psycho-social counseling to DR-TB patients.
Despite the notable successes achieved by the different programmes, robust efforts are needed to improve the early and accurate diagnosis followed by a prompt appropriate treatment which is vital for ending TB. India must collaborate with global efforts which are being done to eliminate the TB along with the paradigm shift in the control measure.